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PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2016 1:27 pm 
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Hello, I have read the full appeal section, very informative, thank you. I am in the process of deciding whether or not to appeal for my dc. My dc's score was 318, so very close to the pass mark and only failed in one subject. Is doing well in school, a summer born child and to be honest, quite immature and was no where near mentally ready for the Kent Test. CATS were 125 and SATS 114 for Year 5 in the subject failed, so not bad scores and above average. I questioned why the head did not do a head appeal but was told they did not think my dc was "there" for the failed subject. This I know is quite normal for summer born children and I had the same issue with my previous dc, who also did not pass, also a summer born. The head chose not to appeal also so I appealed, I won and now my other dc is flying high in grammar, so I know summer born babies do take longer to mature in terms of learning. I am just wondering if I decide to appeal, can I challenge the heads decision not to appeal and use this as an extenuating circumstance in the appeal? I never used this in my previous appeal for my other dc, but am now feeling a bit annoyed that the same thing has happened and the head knows my other dc is doing extremely well in a grammar when he also chose not to make a HTA. I have even been told the head of the school does not even ask the Y5 teacher who he should appeal for. How can he know who to appeal for when they do not even work with the children in Y5? Surely this is not right and it makes me feel like the head chose who to appeal for based on their own personal reasons and not in the child's interest. I feel like my dc has missed out to another child and I know the school makes numerous appeals every year. Thank you for any help.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2016 2:12 pm 
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I wouldn't; I would focus on academic evidence for the appeal.

Have you read Etienne's guidance?


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2016 2:37 pm 
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Guest55 wrote:
I wouldn't; I would focus on academic evidence for the appeal.

Have you read Etienne's guidance?


Thank you for responding. Yes I have, thank you. I do agree, but I kind of feel that somehow the HTA system is flawed and should be looked into. I now have to go through the headache of another appeal because our head "cherry picked" the favourite students. How are the HTA's monitored? I assume they are not. I may not bring it up in appeal, but I am not even sure if the head will give me a supporting letter as other parents have said and from the letter I was given for my other dc, the letters the head writes for the appeal are not even worth the paper they are written on. So if I do not get the support from the head, I will have to explain why I think this is! It just seems like my dc's previous scores are good enough for a HTA but preference was given to others for no good reason. :cry:


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2016 2:47 pm 
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I agree that it is annoying but it is not a matter for the IAP.

Do you have reports with levels on? A detailed CATs report?

Ask the Head for a supporting letter and if one is not forthcoming maybe ask the Year 5 or Year 6 teacher?

I'm sure Etienne will be along later but I think I'd also focus the case on this child and not dilute the evidence by mentioning your older child.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2016 3:03 pm 
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Guest55 wrote:
I agree that it is annoying but it is not a matter for the IAP.

Do you have reports with levels on? A detailed CATs report?

Ask the Head for a supporting letter and if one is not forthcoming maybe ask the Year 5 or Year 6 teacher?

I'm sure Etienne will be along later but I think I'd also focus the case on this child and not dilute the evidence by mentioning your older child.



Thank you for you help. I will see if Etienne comes on later with some advice. I was not going to mention my other dc in the appeal, however, my other dc was also a summer born child and narrowly missed out and is now in a grammar in top set in Maths, some of the other friends, passed and are not in the top set. My other eldest is also in a top performing super selective grammar and passed with flying colours but never gets nervous in tests and is not a summer born. The fact that my other dc did not "guess" most of the answers correctly, or did not get a HTA, should not be seen as diluting the evidence for my dc. I appreciate what you are trying to say, but not all dc's who pass the test have any more higher ability than my dc, most of them just got lucky on the day.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2016 4:24 pm 
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smithymum wrote:
I appreciate what you are trying to say, but not all dc's who pass the test have any more higher ability than my dc, most of them just got lucky on the day.


I think you have misunderstood my point - focus on your child and the evidence of their ability. Some of my best students have got in on appeal so I am very aware that the test score tells me nothing. Unfortunately those that just miss have to prove their ability whereas the 'lucky ones' don't ...


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2016 4:43 pm 
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Guest55 wrote:
smithymum wrote:
I appreciate what you are trying to say, but not all dc's who pass the test have any more higher ability than my dc, most of them just got lucky on the day.


I think you have misunderstood my point - focus on your child and the evidence of their ability. Some of my best students have got in on appeal so I am very aware that the test score tells me nothing. Unfortunately those that just miss have to prove their ability whereas the 'lucky ones' don't ...


Hello, I fully appreciate your advice and I understood what you were trying to say, I just wanted to give the bigger picture by explaining that my second dc also narrowly missed out but is of grammar standard, as is my current dc. I just don't want to come across as the parent whose dc's have not passed and I am now pushing them into a grammar school and am bitter. I am slightly bitter, I admit, but so would anyone who knows other children had a HTA when they are no better than your own DC. What I am trying to say is, unfortunately, in our primary school, it is a case of who you know not what you know. This is known but never mentioned, well, it is mentioned between parents and you find all parents spend their whole primary years trying to impress the head to secure an appeal. I am sure this happens in other schools but no one dare speak up as this may jeopardise an appeal. This is hugely frustrating for parents like myself whose child should have had a HTA but wasn't one of the "chosen" ones. I agree in that I will now have to prove my dc's academic abilities, but I would not have had to, had the head been fairer. Sorry to moan, but it is sooo frustrating :cry:


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2016 6:14 pm 
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Whilst it may be frustrating, with all due respect, you do not know all the circumstances that the other children who did get an HTA may find themselves in...there may be very good reasons that the Head supported them - unrelated to your child.

That is why Guest is correctly saying focus on your child's academic ability and proving that, showing that the test was a blip in an otherwise good standard. As a throwaway comment you could mention that your other child was also summerborn, didn't qualify but is doing well, so you feel confident that this child will too. You could also throwaway that you have two others in GS so the pressure to succeed on the day on the third may have been enough to tip them over into nervousness, but all these circumstances are irrelevant unless you prove academic evidence first.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2016 7:17 pm 
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kenyancowgirl wrote:
Whilst it may be frustrating, with all due respect, you do not know all the circumstances that the other children who did get an HTA may find themselves in...there may be very good reasons that the Head supported them - unrelated to your child.

That is why Guest is correctly saying focus on your child's academic ability and proving that, showing that the test was a blip in an otherwise good standard. As a throwaway comment you could mention that your other child was also summerborn, didn't qualify but is doing well, so you feel confident that this child will too. You could also throwaway that you have two others in GS so the pressure to succeed on the day on the third may have been enough to tip them over into nervousness, but all these circumstances are irrelevant unless you prove academic evidence first.


Thank you for your reply. With all due respect, I imagine "their" circumstances are just as valid as mine! Unless you are one of the parents who never unfairly had a HTA, you will not understand how frustrating it is. In our primary we mostly know who will have a HTA by Y2! I am sure you know what I mean by this. Sorry to just say it as it is, but I am sure this happens in most schools but no ones ever admits it, especially those who have ensured they have secured a HTA early on by whatever means this may be :wink: Oh well, hopefully one day HTA's will not be allowed or they will be monitored as I am sure this has happened to a few parents. Of course those parents who worked hard enough to secure a HTA will not agree. I was not one of those parents as, to be honest, I never realised the system was so corrupt! I do feel the whole dynamics of schools would change if there were no HTA's. The way it should happen to make it fair, is if a child does not pass on the day, the parents should work just as hard as I have and will have to to prove their dc's academic ability. If, as you say, there were circumstances which caused them not to pass, then they should have no problem proving they are worthy of a grammar school place, just like I had to. Sorry for any offence caused but I only say what a lot of people think!


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2016 8:41 pm 
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I'm not from your area so no offence caused to me but I think you need to be very careful with your accusations...sweeping generalisations there as I am sure that there are some very conscientious heads in your area. If you genuinely believe your head is accepting bribes, which seems to be what you have implied, then take it up with the school governors, but it is not something for the appeal panel, I wouldn't have thought, that needs to focus on your child's academic ability and any reasons you can give for why they did not succeed on the day.


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